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Reynolds to announce an initiative to recruit more nurses
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Reynolds to announce an initiative to recruit more nurses

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Some GOP governors shift on mask mandates as hospitals fill

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds gives a primetime televised address announcing new efforts to combat COVID-19 in the state.

Gov. Kim Reynolds indicated Friday she is watching Iowa’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers every day and expected to announce an initiative next week to recruit more nurses and other critical health-care workers to come to Iowa to help bolster Iowa’s strained workforce resources.

During a radio interview, the governor said there are no plans to set up field hospitals in Iowa if the health-care system becomes overwhelmed due to rising COVID-19 cases because the state does not have adequate resources to staff them. In the meantime, she asks Iowans to observe her mask requirements for indoor gatherings and to follow public health social distancing, hand-washing and other mitigation recommendations to slow the coronavirus spread in Iowa.

The governor said she took targeted action to stave off the possibility that Iowa would exceed its hospital and health-care capacity being “pushed to the brink” due to surging COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations. She noted that Iowa has been moving “dangerously close” to overwhelming it health-care capacity.

Reynolds’ spokesman Pat Garrett said a “plan is in the works” to bring in more health-care resources to Iowa but details will not be available until next week.

“I need everybody to helping me step up and step in,” Reynolds told a radio audience. “I’m trying to be fair and I’m trying to be balanced. I’m trying to keep businesses open.”

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